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October 2, 2011

Padule – The Fucecchio Marshes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Darren Hackett @ 1:55 pm

This is a particularly beautiful and yet strange landscape.  The Padule lies between the areas of Lucca, Pescia and Fucecchio, right in the centre of the large flat valley south of the Appenines in which we live and the rolling Chianti hills further south.  It was probably once an inland sea but for many centuries it was an undrained, unmanaged, boggy landscape; uninhabitable and full of mosquitoes and malaria.  In the Middle Ages drainage canals were dug and the river damned, excavated and controlled.  This land became habitable and provided a rich alluvial landscape to grow a wide variety of crops, most common of these today is maize (presumably used primarily for polenta).  There are also many nurseries in the flatlands that grow maritime pines and olive trees, but also many shrubs and plants that are extremely rare and exported by growers all over the world.

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